Saturday, April 30, 2016

Peer Group Conference

Stella is learning so much about being a librarian! This weekend was the peer group conference for the librarians at all the community colleges in Virginia (plus faculty who use OER; we shared conferences with them because our interests overlap).

We actually took a little side trip first, by leaving a day early and going to Fairfax to visit my best friend, who had a baby four months ago and I had not yet met him! I didn't take any photos of Stella with him, because (1) he has a little octopus toy that looks A LOT like Stella and I didn't want to confuse the little dude or get Stella all slobbery (he's in that "explore the world by putting my mouth on all parts of it") and (2) I didn't want to take photos of him while he was sleeping in case I woke him up. Rest assured, though... he is SUPER cute.

Anyway, then we headed to Richmond for the conference!

Trying to get a photo of the George Mason University
sign as we sat at the red light, leaving Fairfax.

Peekaboo! We got a little silly exploring the
hotel room in Richmond.

So many towels!

This was as we were going up to Fairfax.
I rarely have both traffic on the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel
AND an LV with me (and the wherewithal to get a photo)
so this is pretty unusual.

The building at John Tyler Community College
where half the conference presentations were
(mostly the librarian ones, including mine!)

Bust of John Tyler himself in the middle of their
beautiful campus.
Looks familiar! Same sign as our last trip, but at a different rest area.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Book Club

Last night, Stella came with me to my book club! We're a small group that meets in the library I work in (but it's not just staff members, it's open to the public). We don't pick a single book for all of us to read... we pick a genre each month. This month was graphic novels, one of my specialties!

On the left is Fables vol. 1, the book our fearless leader read for this month.
The paper Stella is sitting on is my trivia quiz (we do one each month, in the theme
of the genre we read that month) and I blew everyone else out of the water for once (7/13 right!)
And the mug is a Christmas present for an attendee who hasn't been able to come for
a few months so she got it last night. It has a bunch of first lines from famous books!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Today, Stella learned a very important lesson: what bbq is supposed to be.

You probably already know that anywhere that has its own style of bbq defends it to the death, and I am no exception. My dad's side of the family is from eastern NC and we believe that the best bbq is our bbq: not saucy, a little vinegar based, but focused entirely on the meat. Bonus points for good cole slaw. (My mom's side of the family is from the Pacific Northwest and couldn't care less about the BBQ Wars of the east coast.) There is one place in Virginia Beach that unfailingly makes a perfect pork bbq sandwich, and it is not far from work. So today, I shared with Stella.

And hushpuppies, because of course hushpuppies.
Not a very exciting adventure, but certainly a delicious one.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Game of Thrones

Most weeks during the Game of Thrones season, I go over to a friend's house and we have dinner and drinks and watch the show. (During the off-season, we're less regular about it, but we play board games and whatnot.)

Ommegang makes a new beer for each season.
We stopped at the store on the way there and got the
LAST BOTTLE of Seven Kingdoms on the shelf!
The little Stella-sized glass behind her is homemade
mead by one of our friends.

Adam usually makes the beef and bacon pie
from the Game of Thrones cookbook
for the first episode of the season! Delicious!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

O'Connor Indie Craft & Art Fair

Yesterday, Stella and I went to O'Connor Brewing in Norfolk for a beer and a gander around the craft and art fair in their parking lot.

You can see the rain clouds that were on their way out when I took this one.

Luckily, the fair was under a giant tent in the parking lot,
so none of the art/crafts got wet!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

MLA 8th Edition

Stella gets to see a bit of my nerdy librarian side tonight. MLA (the Modern Language Association) released their newest edition of their citation/style handbook this month, and I've been eagerly awaiting my personal copy in the mail. (I wanted one I could write notes in and highlight things in, as opposed to the library copies we ordered.) I look considerably calmer than I did when I first cracked it open, but here I'm reading it with Stella:

Kind of a weird thing for an LV to be a part of, but I promise, this is one of the highlights of my year, professionally speaking.

Regional Automotive Center

Stella and I drove to Chesapeake today for a meeting in the school's Regional Automotive Center, which I had never been to before. They have this neat (huge!) mural of a timeline of the history of the automobile industry. (One of my coworkers was nice enough to give Stella a boost for the photo!)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Dolphin - TCC

I think I've mentioned these with all my LVs, but Stella is new to Virginia Beach. In Norfolk, there are mermaid statues all over the place, decorated in different ways by different local artists. They tend to mark major landmarks (the new library, the art museum, the hockey team's arena, the small music venue, the college I work for, the medical school, etc.). In Virginia Beach, we have dolphins. There are way less dolphins... I only know where three of them are, but I'm trying to find more of them.

This one is in front of the admin building at the campus of the community college I work at! That's our logo on its side. It's covered in those little flat-sided glass marbles. And there's Stella, balancing on its nose!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Lazy Sunday

We took it easy today, taking a lazy Sunday before going to work tomorrow. Here are the main highlights:

Stella was officially introduced to Gimli, the very sweet kitty who only attacks
LVs because they resemble his toys. Stella seems to have been no exception.
She got a little love bite on one tentacle, but no harm done.

We spent a large portion of the day reading
The Martian by Andy Weir cover to cover.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Stella's Bag

Today, we're taking it easy after our trip, doing a little cleaning and planning for the week, things like that. I decided that if Stella is going to spend a lot of time in my purse, she might need something to hide in. Being crocheted, she seems pretty vulnerable to getting snags from things like pens, keys, zippers, etc. So we pulled out the sewing machine and made this!

Stella is hiding...


Friday, April 15, 2016


We have a lot of local breweries popping up around here lately, and I'm making a habit of visiting as many as possible! One of them, Wasserhund, not only makes good beer, they also make good pizza! And, bonus, they deliver! Since Stella and I have had a long couple of days, we ordered from them and got our first local growler.

Seems that Stella has been sampling the Altbier
and has gone a little... sideways!

Driving from Roanoke to VB

It is so nice to have an LV tagging along when you have to drive 10 hours in two days!

Scenic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains on the side of I-64W

Another scenic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this time
at the VDOT memorial

Historical signs at the first scenic view

Stella said we needed to bring these home from the hotel because they're just her size!

The pillows, however, were a bit large for her.

As they say, Virginia is for lovers! This sign is at the rest area (well, this one is so big
they call it a Welcome Center). Stella needs to work on her balancing skills,
so for now, she had to sit in front of the "O".

At the second scenic view pull-off, there's this big memorial for VDOT
(Virginia Dept of Transportation) workers killed in the course of their work.
And there's wee little Stella down front, reading the names.
So we are home, tired of driving, and ready for the weekend.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

New Horizons Conference

Stella and I have had a loooooong day! We got up at 4:30am and left Virginia Beach just after 5am, drove across Virginia lengthwise, and arrived at our hotel in Roanoke at about 9:45am. Then we hopped a shuttle to the conference hotel and attended our first day of New Horizons, a conference for all the community colleges in Virginia.

We got there just in time for the box lunch.
While we ate, we studied the program to decide
which sessions to attend.

This is the little digital sign for MY session!
If you can't read it, it's The iPad-Based Library Classroom.
After hearing about it, Stella is excited to see the actual
classroom when we go back to work on Monday!

Diligently taking notes during today's
keynote session about student success.
I think now, we need some room service and junk TV in our hotel room, and an early bedtime!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Welcome, Stella!

Stella, the adorable wee octopus, has arrived safe and sound in Virginia Beach! And she brought me gifts! What a sweetheart!

She apparently heard that I participate in NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo!
Haylie informed me that her last trip to Virginia was during a hurricane, so
a very nervous Stella brought her own sunshine just in case. And, even tinier than Stella,
my new little friend is Tom the Tiny Turtle, who would like to live in Virginia with me!

Her timing is excellent, as I'm leaving very early tomorrow morning to drive across the state to Roanoke and go to a conference! So of course, she's a very helpful little octopus, and oversaw my packing, to make sure I don't forget anything (including her!).

Silly Stella... You don't have to go in the suitcase. You'll miss all the sights
if you're in there!